OPERA NEWS - Plácido Domingo Accused of Sexual Harassment; LA Opera to Launch Investigation
From Development server
13 August 2019

Plácido Domingo Accused of Sexual Harassment; LA Opera to Launch Investigation

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS published a story today in which Plácido Domingo is accused of sexually harassing several women or attempting to pressure them into sexual relationships by using the promise of career development, and professionally retaliating against the women if they refused his advances. 

The article reports that the performers claim they were harassed in encounters beginning in the late 1980s and reportedly taking place at opera companies where Domingo held administrative positions. Seven of the nine women who spoke to AP reporter Jocelyn Gecker claim that their careers had been adversely affected after rejecting Domingo's advances, "with some saying that roles he promised never materialized and several noting that while they went on to work with other companies, they were never hired to work with him again," the article states. 

Domingo issued a statement to the Associated Press saying: “The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate. Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone."

Following the publication of the story, LA Opera, where Domingo serves as General Director, announced that it intended to launch an investigation. "We believe all employees and artists should be treated respectfully and feel safe and secure within their work environment," read a statement published to LA Opera's Twitter account. "LA Opera has robust human resources policies and procedures in place. In accordance with those policies, LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Plácido Domingo." 

"Plácido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of LA Opera and the artistic culture of Los Angeles for more than three decades," the statement continued. "Nevertheless, we are committed to doing everything we can to foster a professional and collaborative environment where all our employees and artists feel equally comfortable, valued and respected." 

On Tuesday afternoon, the Metropolitan Opera issued a statement to NPR saying that it intends to wait for the results of LA Opera's investigation before determining next steps. "We take accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power with extreme seriousness," read the statement. "We will await the results of the investigation into Plácido Domingo's behavior as head of the Los Angeles Opera before making any final decisions about Mr. Domingo's ultimate future at the Met. It should be noted that during his career at the Met as a guest artist, Mr. Domingo has never been in a position to influence casting decisions for anyone other than himself." Domingo is scheduled to sing the title role in Verdi's Macbeth and the role of Sharpless in performances of Madama Butterfly at the Met next season. 

San Francisco Opera, which had scheduled an October 6 concert featuring Domingo, announced that it has canceled that performance citing the reports of multiple allegations of sexual harassment. "Though the alleged incidents reported did not take place at San Francisco Opera, the company is unable to present the artist on the War Memorial Opera House stage," read a statement issued by the company. spacer

More information can be found at the New York Times.

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